"Bittersüß" (Album, 2011)
Out Of Line
Very neatly straddles rock and pop like so few really manage to successfully pull of though many attempt it every year. Perhaps because the song and melodies are given priority over the instrumentation utilised to make the sound. So while rocking guitars feature on virtually all the tracks, they are usually there to add another dimension rather than be the up-front lead.
Listening to Bittersüß made me think back to Girls Under Glass – another German band who, though certainly heavier, also deftly deployed both rock and pop components to their writing to impressive effect – especially live. I’d like to see Mina Harker live. There are no UK dates planned at present but perhaps label Out of Line could include them in another one of their Out Of Line tours? I’d have thought there should be decent enough numbers of the already interested or curious to mount four key city dates starting in Glasgow, working down through to London (hint, hint!).
At times, like on Schmutzige Hände, it’s almost as if a producer decided to come up with a Rammstein-lite for the alternative American teenager market. I don’t mean that in a disparaging way at all. As much as I like Rammstein, there’s only so much of their stuff I ever want to listen to in one sitting as it gets a bit exhaustingly samey after a while. This, on the other hand, is certainly much lighter in tone, but retains many of the rocky, crossover elements that give it a respectably dark undertone. I imagine that aspects of Mina Harker and The Birthday Massacre might appeal to the same demographic. But my money would only go on Harker as it sounds more genuinely passionate (if it is a measured passion) whereas TBM sounds more cynical. 7/10
Rob Dyer (December 2011)
Girls Under Glass